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State's largest private landlord, Ires Reit, sees occupancy rate increase to 99pc

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Margaret Sweeney, chief executive of Ires Reit

Margaret Sweeney, chief executive of Ires Reit

Margaret Sweeney, chief executive of Ires Reit

The State's largest private landlord, Ires Reit, said demand for its properties remains "robust", with occupancy of 99pc at 30 April.

This is up from 98.3pc at 31 December, according to a trading update from the company.

Ires Reit said it was trading “in line with expectations” in the first three months of this year.

Residential rent collection rates were around 98pc in last month, however it said there is no guarantees in relation to the rate of rent collection in the upcoming months given the ongoing uncertainty related to the Covid-19 pandemic and government actions.

The company controls more than 3,700 residential units, its average monthly rent was €1,596 in 2019.

In line with measures introduced by the government here, the business has implemented a temporary freeze on rent increases to 27 June as well as on termination notices.

In addition, it has invited residents living in its apartments to discuss any issues they may have in meeting their monthly rent payments.

Ires Reit added that it would look to provide solutions "on a case-by-case basis" for those residents facing financial hardship due to Covid-19.

Elsewhere, the company has €9.5m of cash and €210m of committed undrawn debt under its revolving credit facility.

Ires Reit took delivery of 55 units at Waterside and 18 units at Tallaght Cross West in the first three months of this year, bringing the total units owned to 3,739.

However, the temporary closures of construction sites due to the pandemic means it may face a delay in receiving delivery of a number of developments including 95 residential units at Hansfield Wood, 69 units on Merrion Road, and 61 residential properties at Bakers Yard.

Margaret Sweeney, CEO of Ires Reit, said: "Despite the ongoing challenging and unprecedented times, I believe that our high quality, diverse portfolio of assets, robust financial position and highly experienced property management team will ensure that our business emerges from the Covid-19 crisis in as strong a condition as possible.”

The company’s dividend strategy continues, with a final dividend for the year ended 31 December 2019 of €16.2m paid in March.

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